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A London team is inevitable

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by CGI_Ram, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. CGI_Ram

    CGI_Ram Hamburger Connoisseur

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    The momentum seemed clear back in September, as the NFL geared up for its first doubleheader of regular-season games in London. "It's quite likely," wrote ESPN.com's Greg Garber, "that there soon will be an NFL team in London."

    Events of the ensuing 5 1/2 months have fortified that assessment. The NFL quickly sold out all three London-based games for the 2014 season, an accomplishment notably lauded by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Most recently, one of the league's most influential and revenue-hungry owners has thrust his full support behind the idea.

    Speaking in a radio interview last week,Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said: "I think that's very possible. Yes, I'm very much for it. I think there's a good chance, and these games will be a good indication of the kind of support we can have there. And London is one of the few cities outside of the United States that would be a great city internationally for the NFL."

    As with any major corporation, the best approach to observing the modern NFL is to follow the money. If a venture can generate significant new revenues, without debilitating logistical roadblocks or obvious brand-tarnishing repercussions, you can bet it will get a long look. Increasingly, it's clear that the semantics of a London franchise -- while significant -- probably won't scare off the NFL.

    "The response to the third game in the UK and the way that the fans have embraced that -- sold that out in such a short period of time -- is just another indication that the more we give fans in the UK of NFL football, the more they want," Goodell said last month. "That's a great tribute to the fans there and their passion. And I believe you are further down the road because you are now three games into it. What our next step is, I don't know. That's something we're going to have to evaluate. We believe that we will continue to grow there and that's going to take work. We're going to have to continue to invest in that marketplace and find ways to engage those fans even more deeply. I'm optimistic that they'll respond favorably, as they already have."

    Informal discussions have already provided a framework for how the most significant logistical issues with a London franchise would be addressed. Let's run through most of them.

    The team likely would have a stateside training facility, where it could base itself during two- or three-game "road trips" that would cut down on travel.

    Four trans-Atlantic flights to the East Coast for a London team would add up to roughly 28,000 miles in a season -- about 6,000 fewer than the San Francisco 49ers traveled in 2013. A London team would tack on additional miles for Midwest or West Coast games, but in the end, its travel would be only incrementally more than what the NFL's most frequent fliers have already done. Meanwhile, teams who visit London could be ensured a bye afterward.

    Tax issues and cost of living discrepancies could be addressed in collective bargaining with the NFL Players Association. Or, the NFL could point to the differences that already exist stateside, where cost of living varies considerably and some teams are based in cities with no state income tax.

    Some have suggested free agents might not want to sign with a London team, whether for displacement reasons or what will be perceived to be a hectic travel schedule. That might be the case, but would it truly be debilitating to the franchise? The majority of NFL players are assigned teams via the draft or waivers, and the best players never reach free agency. Regardless, the track record of teams that spend big to sign players -- see the 2013 Miami Dolphins, for one -- is spotty.

    And what's the worst-case scenario? A London-based team can't compete. Quite frankly, that has happened for long stretches of the NFL's stateside history, be it in Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland or elsewhere. Collectively, those franchises still have contributed to the NFL's financial growth, as would a London team, regardless of its success on the field.

    Generally speaking, it's difficult to see the NFL passing on the presumed revenue bonanza of a London franchise for logistical reasons. There is always a way.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/117426/inside-slant-inevitability-of-nfl-london

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2014
  2. Prime Time

    Prime Time RODerator

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    As long as it's not the Rams. Send the Patriots to London, the Seahawks to Mongolia, and the 49ers to Siberia. Heck, let them start their own league far away from the NFL.
    laramsoriginal and mr.stlouis like this.
  3. mr.stlouis

    mr.stlouis Well-Known Member

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    ^lol

    No way..,
  4. kurtfaulk

    kurtfaulk Well-Known Member

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    .

    The beginning of the end.

    .
    Yamahopper likes this.
  5. Flipper_336

    Flipper_336 Well-Known Member

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    The NFL is missing a key point: the Wembley games are selling out now because of their rarity.

    The current set-up enables not just fans of the participating teams but those of other franchises to watch some live NFL; for many, it'll be a once in a lifetime experience.

    Fans aren't going to switch allegiances just because a franchise is based here. Every single British fan to whom I've spoken has said that they will stick with their current team.

    So I'm not sure who is going to support the London team and attend its matches after the initial novelty has worn off, especially if the new franchise remains uncompetitive.
    Zaphod, jsimcox and LesBaker like this.
  6. LesBaker

    LesBaker Mr. Savant

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    What player is going to want to sign there and see half as much money go into their pocket? How can they possibly address that via the CBA? It's a huge hurdle, and good luck getting the govt over there to skip taking taxes off of just football players because every other athlete there will riot.

    It's just chatter IMO, something to keep the NFL on the front page during a lull in the action. There are so many obstacles to overcome for this to happen that I cant imagine things working out at all.
    flv likes this.
  7. LesBaker

    LesBaker Mr. Savant

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    Thats a good point, if a person is already an NFL fan they likely have a favorite team and while some might switch and support the home team I'm guessing that as you point out most won't.

    And if you do we know where to find you......and we will hunt you down and kill you like the scurvy dog you are. ;)
  8. Flipper_336

    Flipper_336 Well-Known Member

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    As I said, Les, I've spoken to at least thirty NFL fans here and we are all adamant that we will stick with our current teams.

    Unless the players all look like this, of course...


    image.jpg
    laramsoriginal likes this.
  9. Thordaddy

    Thordaddy Binding you with ancient logic

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    Sure Jerry is in favor of it,he ain't goin' and someone eager for a franchise ( expansion) will jump at the chance,but I don't think it happens anytime soon.
    If an existing franchise were to move the league would have to offer enormous financial incentives in perpetuity,one of the ways they could handle their schedule is have a practice facility in the US and have them play a schedule like baseball does where once they go on the road they don't return home for two weeks or three weeks that covered two three or even four games.
    Eventually the Super Bowl would be played there and would have to be played at midnight so as to have it at 6PM in the central time zone, and all their regular season home games would have to be no earlier than 6PM to fit the regular season Sunday schedule away games they'd see at 6AM their time, yeah I can see that would make a lot of Brits pee pee their britches to be fans.
  10. LumberTubs

    LumberTubs Well-Known Member

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    Even if all 8 home games were sold out or close to sold out, the atmosphere would be terrible in my view because you'd have fans of the NFL rather than proper partisan fans getting behind the players. The NFL is an established sport over here (from a viewing point of view) so, like others have said, the majority of those who would want to go would do so to see an NFL game as opposed to actually supporting the London whatevers because they already have a team. I sure as hell won't be changing my allegiances.

    I would also expect the novelty to wear off sooner or later and you'd have yet another NFL team playing in front of limited crowds and with one eye on relocating to another city (probably back in the US). Does this really make the NFL better? No. Will it line the pockets of existing owners? yes which means it will happen eventually
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  11. LesBaker

    LesBaker Mr. Savant

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    I liked your post because I think you have a good point. People would go to see a game if they are football fans but support for the actual team would be sparse. Not to mention there is a big risk that there will always be lots of fans of the other visiting teams, especially the teams that have strong followings in Europe and the UK. People will travel to see their team and it will cost a ton less to go to London than the USA.
  12. Thordaddy

    Thordaddy Binding you with ancient logic

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    Not a bad point, unless you consider the fact that with it being the only team in the UK Pop 64 million it would be the largest NFL market and equal at least the next top 5 combined,I think attendance would be less a problem of market and loyalties than time of play to send their games to the US and their games from the US back there.
  13. LosAngelesRams

    LosAngelesRams Janoris Ogletree

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    This is the same situation in LA right now pretty much if we got a team.
  14. The Rammer

    The Rammer ESPN Draft Guru

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    God I hate Commadant Goddell..... What a tard
    Prime Time likes this.
  15. ausmurp

    ausmurp Well-Known Member

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    I hate it too. He is so stupid. Change the extra point, change regular season to 18 games, add 4 playoff teams, make passing too easy, etc. etc. It's so sad, he is going to go down as a great comish, but from the fans prospective, he is by far the worst to ever don the title.
  16. Rams and Gators

    Rams and Gators Well-Known Member Pit Boss

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    I'd go to less London games if there was a franchise rather than just the IS games, and 1 game in St Louis>>>8 games in London for the same cost.
  17. A55VA6

    A55VA6 Playoffs?

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    Travel for the team would be brutal plus what player is going to want to I've there? It would have a hard time attracted free agents.
  18. bluecoconuts

    bluecoconuts Well-Known Member

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    If teams that play in London automatically get a bye, does that mean they will always open up the first few weeks on the road? If so that seems pretty unfair for them.
  19. Ram Quixote

    Ram Quixote Knight Errant

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    The logistics are impossible. So visiting teams will require a bye after playing in London? What about the home team? When they go on the road, do they get a bye every time? Will the London team's schedule be in blocks of games (3 in a row?) at home and on the road? Talk about a handicap.

    And the NFL is misreading the market. As was said earlier in the thread, the games sell out because the demand is high. The demand for a crappy team playing against superior opponents will not be near as high.
  20. RamzFanz

    RamzFanz Well-Known Member

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    "London whatevers"?

    They've already decided on the London Wankers.